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Tasty, easy and healthy are the goals for January

Tasty, easy and healthy are the goals for January

Jan. 11, 2024

By Mary Wade Burnside and Sarah Moore

Happy New Year! Did you make a resolution to improve your eating habits in 2024? Or are you just trying to get through these cold, dark days as best as you can?
Either way, Monongalia County Health Department’s WIC Kitchen can help!
For January, we have two recipes that are easy to make (15-20 minutes) as well as healthy and tasty. And you can make them ahead of time and pop them in the microwave when you are ready to eat.
Having a ready-made meal when hunger strikes can also help you avoid the urge to grab something that’s quicker and less nutritious.
And with both recipes — Pasta Primavera and Black Bean Burrito Bowls — you have plenty of leeway to add additional ingredients. This allows you to customize the meals to your taste, use up items in the fridge and/or pack in more vitamins, fiber, etc.
In addition to utilizing whatever vegetables you wish into the Pasta Primavera, tomatoes, avocado and different beans can change up the Black Bean Burrito Bowl. Obviously, if you add avocado to the burrito bowl, wait until just before you serve to top it off.
Speaking of ingredients, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, limes and garlic all boost immunity, which is great anytime but especially this time of year.
And broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, red onion, black beans, limes and zucchini are all high in antioxidants, so they aid in the prevention of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
So get chopping in order to help brighten up this dreary month!

Pasta Primavera


• Whole wheat penne pasta*
• Salt
• Olive oil
• 1 red onion*
• 2 carrots*
• 1 cup broccoli (chopped)*
• 1 bell pepper*
• 1 yellow squash*
• 1 zucchini*
• 2 cloves garlic (minced)
• 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice*
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• 1/2 cup shredded parmesan, divided*
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook penne pasta in salted water according to package directions, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a 12-inch (and deep) skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Add red onion and carrot and sauté for two minutes.
4. Add broccoli and bell pepper, then sauté for two minutes.
5. Add squash and zucchini, then sauté for two-three minutes or until veggies have nearly softened.
6. Add garlic, tomatoes and Italian seasoning and sauté for two more minutes.
7. Pour veggies into an empty pasta pot or a serving bowl, add drained pasta, drizzle in lemon juice, season with a little more salt as needed and toss while adding in pasta water to loosen as desired.
8. Toss in 1/4 cup parmesan and parsley, then serve with remaining parmesan on top.
Black Bean Burrito Bowls


• 4 cups brown rice (cooked)*
• 2 bell peppers (sliced)*
• 1 can black beans (canned or frozen, liquid drained) *
• 1 can of corn*
• 1 red onion
• Fresh cilantro
• 1 lime*
• Salsa
• 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese*
• Taco seasoning


1. Cook rice first according to the package directions.
2. While the rice is cooking, drain corn, rinse and drain black beans, shred the cheese and slice red onions and bell peppers.
3. Once rice is finished, fluff with a fork and divide among four containers. Divide the remaining six bowl ingredients among the containers as well (corn, beans, bell peppers, cheese, salsa, lime wedges, cilantro, red onions and salsa).
4. Reheat the bowls for one-two minutes before eating to melt the cheese and heat the beans and rice through.
Items marked with an asterisk* are available through Monongalia County Health Department WIC. Please call 304-598-5181 for more information.





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